Islamabad: Pakistan’s ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha held a secret meeting with former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in Dubai and advised him not to return to the country, according to a media report earlier in the week.
“Gen Pasha, who has remained very close to the former President, held a meeting with (Musharraf) in Dubai and advised him not to return to the country as the situation is not conducive for his return,” a source was quoted as saying by Dawn News channel.
The channel quoted its sources as saying that Pasha “strictly advised” Musharraf not to return to Pakistan from self-exile.
The report said it was not clear whether the meeting was held on the directions of the Pakistan People’s Party-led government or if it was a private meeting.
The report said Musharraf, after meeting Pasha, convened a meeting of his All Pakistan Muslim League party on January 25 for reviewing his decision to return to Pakistan.
The media report coincided with a resolution passed by the Senate or upper house of Parliament that demanded the arrest of Musharraf on his return to Pakistan and the registration of a case of high treason against him for abrogating the Constitution.
Several Pakistani leaders, including interior minister Rehman Malik, have said Musharraf would be arrested on his return to Pakistan.
Musharraf recently postponed his plans to return to Karachi during January 27-30.
Last week, Musharraf received support from his former military colleagues. The Pakistan First Group (PFG), an outfit formed by former military bigwigs, have enthusiastically welcomed his decision to move back, and have asked authorities to provide him with the necessary security. Maj. Gen. (retd) Rashid Qureshi, former director-general of ISPR, the military’s media wing, said PFG is a non-political entity. He did not rule out a political role for the group. The PFG has been created as an apolitical pressure group to counter the propaganda campaign currently being run against the army and the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence). ”However, we are witnessing clear undertones and the group may join politics in the coming weeks and months,” the daily Dawn Monday quoted Qureshi as saying. He said: “The other day I talked to the former president (Musharraf). We will meet in Dubai Jan 25 to take a final decision in this regard. The PFG unanimously supports the former president’s plans to return to the country and take part in elections.” Some 150 retired officers of the three services announced the creation of the PFG at a hotel last Saturday and unanimously called for safe return of Musharraf.